Photo: Frank Gallas, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
On this stage of the Rheinsteig the trail cuts away from the Rhine to pass through the foothills of the Westerwald.
Distance 18.5 km
Detours also have their attraction! This one allows us to bypass the mid-sized town of Neuwied – which, incidentally, is good for shopping – and explore the region between the romantic Middle Rhine Valley and wooded elevations of the Westerwald on our way to Rengsdorf. Although we’re some way from the Rhine, we can catch frequent glimpses of the valley from a number of viewpoints. With the Neuwied Basin at our feet, we can savour the peace and quiet of this section of the Rheinsteig while treading in the footsteps of the Romans.
The yellow access signs (one kilometre) take us to Schloss Monrepos and its Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution where you can spend an interesting hour or two.
Update: July 23, 2020
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
Best time of year
Health and safety
Wear suitable weatherproof clothing that will protect you from cold, wet, heat and sunshine.
Make sure you take regular breaks and don't overexert yourself.
Take enough fluids with you as there are sections without rest stops.
Wear suitable hiking boots/shoes which give you enough grip on slippery, steep, rocky and uneven surfaces.
Avoid any sections of the route which you feel are too difficult for you. Natural trails can quickly become wet and slippery in adverse weather conditions.
Particularly in autumn, you should be careful of uneven ground, roots, stones or holes that have been covered by leaves.
You need to take these kinds of adverse conditions into account every time you go on a hike.
Particularly steep and dangerous places are made safer with handrails or ropes. Please use these as safety aids. Handrails are not to be climbed on or used to get a better view!
From Leutesdorf we wind our way up past the Wingertshäusje Hut to the Hüllenberger Stolperstein, where our first ascent is rewarded with glorious views of Andernach with its landmark round tower and Rhine crane. We then carry on towards Feldkirchen through forest and the water meadows of the Kehlbach. We trace the exact path of the Limes, the remains of which are buried in the woods. The route turns off into the Buchbach Valley and leads uphill to a wild orchard. We soon head back down into the Reichelbach Valley and continue through beech forest, at the end of which you espy the Ice Age museum at Monrepos above you to the left (well worth a visit!). The Rheinsteig continues down into the Aubach Valley. You soon reach a barbecue area further up in the woods. From here it’s not much further to Altwied Castle.
Opposite the cemetery in Altwied you hike up into the forest and the Laubachsmühle restaurant. At the old powder mill a water nature trail starts which we follow up to the Almblick viewpoint. It’s worth taking a detour to the waterfall on the Laubach en route. The path carries on winding its way up to the Schauinsland viewpoint where you catch a glimpse of Father Rhine. Walking through the high-lying forest to a tennis court you reach the Roman ditch of Rengsdorf. We follow this down into the romantic valley of the Völkerwiesenbach where the climb up to Rengsdorf terrace begins. A little further on we come to the town hall.
all notes on protected areas
There is a station in Leutesdorf that is serviced by regional trains from Koblenz and Cologne/Bonn.
Rengsdorf can be reached by bus: bus 101 from and to Neuwied where there’s a train to Leutesdorf.
Bus 101: the Andreestraße stop is on the Rheinsteig. There are buses to Neuwied every two hours at the weekend. At the moment (September 2018) the last bus leaves at 18.45.
Follow the B42 along the Rhine to get to Leutesdorf.
From the B42 you can take the B256 to Rengsdorf.
There is free parking on the Rhine in Leutesdorf; alternatively, on the B42 close to the church there is an extra Rheinsteig car park (with a yellow Rheinsteig access sign at the entrance to the car park).
32U 385561 5590581
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Literatur zum Rheinsteig ist im Online-Shop des Rheinsteigs erhältlich
Author’s map recommendations
Rheinsteig-Wanderkarten sind im Online-Shop des Rheinsteigs erhältlich